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Did you know that an active and optimized blog can actually contribute toward how often your small business’ phones ring?
Blogging as part of a content marketing plan can get you more leads and sales by increasing your online presence. Although the word “blog” was only added to Merriam Webster in 2004, there are now over 63 million WordPress blogs out there—and many more blogs hosted on a different CMS. Blogs have remained a huge chunk of the internet and can help your contracting or small business—if done right.
As a copywriter at Blue Corona, I’ve received extensive training on how to write the perfect blog post, optimizing content for the blogosphere, etc. Here’s what NOT to do when blogging for your company or organization.
DON’T: Write Extremely Long Paragraphs
In college, it sometimes felt that paragraphs in publications and articles assigned as reading for my Communications Research class lasted an entire chapter. When written for the web (as blogs are), paragraphs should be short and concise. Most people are intimidated by long paragraphs—they either have trouble following the texts in long lines across their computer or tablet screen or think “ain’t nobody got time for that,” and hit “Back.”
When you write extremely long paragraphs (more than three to four sentences), you may:
- Dilute the content and information you’re trying to provide to your audience
- Hide your call to action and, thus, decrease your conversion rate
- Increase your bounce rate (when visitors realize the long body paragraphs of text and leave your site for another)
- Prevent search engine crawlers from knowing the priority of content on the page
Instead, here are some tips for optimizing a blog post for both your online visitors and search engines:
- Keep paragraphs at three to four sentences
- Use bulleted lists to break up the appearance of long form texts
- Bold items to draw more attention to them
- Use H1, H2, and H3 headers appropriately to outline the content
- Write text that is easy to scan
DON’T: Forget Your Target Audience
When you’re writing blog posts for your small company, you probably aren’t writing them for fun or for your ego. If you’re running a strategic SEO campaign, most likely you are writing blog posts for your customers, especially potential customers. Remembering your target audience is crucial for writing blog posts to both relate to your customers’ interest and capture their services.
What do you mean relating to your target audience, Hannah? I once tried to relate link building to rapper Nelly. But on this blog, Nelly and his brand wouldn’t resonate as a relatable celebrity as well because most of our target audience consists of small to medium sized business owners. Instead, I found a connection between Super Bowl quarterback Drew Brees and backlinking. That post now has visits almost daily since it went live in July. Would a mention of Nelly have dissuaded some of those visitors? Perhaps—but either way, a quarterback’s Super Bowl win is much more relatable to a client than grillz or shaking a tailfeather.
By writing for your target audience, you accomplish two things:
- Form a connection between your audience and yourself
- Build trust that you “know them” and their lifestyle
By doing these, and proving yourself as an authority, you can show that not only do you know the subject matter (e.g. seasonal plumbing inspections, FAQs on heat pumps, etc.), but you also know your audience and understand how your specific company and services can help improve their lives.
DON’T: Use High-Level Industry Jargon
If every few words in this blog post, I threw in SEO specific terms like canonicalization and blended SERP, you probably wouldn’t have made it this far. That’s because, despite being an expert on Shark Week and even more of an expert on copywriting for contracting companies, I know the audience reading my posts for the most part won’t know that high-level of industry jargon.
Blogging, with an intent of search engine optimization, is not about boasting how much you know, technically speaking, about a specific industry; it’s about proving yourself as the authority who can provide a service or product. It won’t help to act better than or smarter than your customer.
When writing blog posts for your small business, remember what industry knowledge they may know (i.e. target topics like “residential solar panels” rather than “photovoltaic system”). Throwing in longer, very technical words may confuse your reader and lead them away from your writing and website. Your blog posts should have a conversational tone and (as state before) relate to your target audience.
The way I see it, if you are truly an expert in your field, you should be able to explain anything in simple terms and concepts for any audience.
DO: Hire an SEO & Content Marketing Company
Content is king when it comes to your online marketing presence—so why not leave it to the professionals? Blue Corona’s team of copywriters (myself included) have years of experience writing for a variety of small businesses. We’ll use content marketing to improve your company’s organic search visibility, drive traffic to your website, and establish your business as THE authority in your industry.
About The Author: Hannah is the Organic Team Lead at Blue Corona. If she's not busy daydreaming about the training session for her team, you can find her improving client conversion rates and planning her next trip.
View more blogs by Hannah Nelson